12 Western Governors Taking Part in Winter Meeting on Big Island

November 21, 2018, 12:15 PM HST · Updated November 21, 12:16 PM
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Western Governors Association. File photo (March 2015) credit: NGA.

The Western Governors’ Association will hold their 2018 Winter Meeting Dec. 11-13 at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island.

Twelve Western Governors will take part in public conversations about significant issues facing the region at the event hosted by WGA Chair and Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige. The Governors will hear keynotes and have onstage conversations with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, and Administrator Linda McMahon of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Governors joining Gov. Ige include: WGA Vice Chair Doug Burgum (North Dakota), C.L. “Butch” Otter (Idaho), Steve Bullock (Montana), Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), Kate Brown (Oregon), Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota), Gary Herbert (Utah), Matt Mead (Wyoming), Lolo Matalasi Moliga (American Samoa), and Ralph Torres (Northern Mariana Islands).

Additional keynotes will be presented by Nainoa Thompson, President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and Henk Rogers of Blue Planet Energy. Public roundtable discussions will feature the Governors discussing issues such as renewable energy, the outdoor recreation economy, healthcare, and veterans’ employment issues.

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The event kicks off on Tuesday, Dec. 11 with an All-Governors Press Conference. The meeting’s public sessions start on Tuesday afternoon and continue Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

In addition, a Chairman’s Initiative Workshop is planned.  The workshop is the fourth and final of the Western Governors’ Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative, which kicks off WGA’s week at the Fairmont Orchid on Monday, Dec. 10.

The Initiative is the central policy effort of Governor Ige during his year as WGA Chair. It is focused on the impacts that nuisance species, pests and pathogens have on ecosystems, forests, rangelands, watersheds, and infrastructure in the West. A keynote by Gov. Ige will start the one-day workshop, which includes a series of roundtables populated by experts discussing the theme “Biosecurity and Agriculture.”

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